BHOPAL: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged on Thursday that the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh was planning to revive Maheshwar hydel project which would rob the state of Rs 42,000 crore in 35 years.
“We have credible information that a meeting will be held at Maheshwar in Khargone district on Friday to revive the hydel project which is non-functional since 2011. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government is overlooking not only one, but five annual reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) between 1998 and 2014, which have found financial irregularities in the project awarded to a major private player in 1994,” alleged Agrawal.
The AAP leader further alleged that the 400 MW power project which costs Rs 6,500 crore now, if revived, will result in production of 80 crore units of electricity with a per unit price of Rs 20. “This will be several times higher than the per unit price of Rs 2.45, at which the power companies in the state have petitioned the state electricity tariff body to sell surplus 2,300 crore unit electricity (produced in MP) to other states,” said Agrawal.
Instead of terminating the power purchase agreement of 1994 pertaining to the project, the Madhya Pradesh government is planning to revive the project which would entail the government paying Rs 1,200 crore annually to the private player over 35 years, which is a whopping Rs 42,000 crore, even if a single unit of electricity is not purchased from the project, the AAP leader claimed.
“We dare the state government to come clear on the facts revealed by us. We challenge any minister to participate with us in an open debate and prove that we are wrong,” said Agrawal.
The AAP state convener said the party would hold state-wide protests if the BJP government went ahead with the project instead of terminating it. When contacted, MP energy minister Paras Chandra Jain said he was in Ujjain and could not comment on the issue.
However, highly-placed sources in state electricity department denied that any meeting is slated to take place in Maheshwar on Friday to revive the project. “The stalled project is now being supervised by lender institutions, including the Power Finance Corporation (PFC). May be the lending institutions could be holding their regular meeting,” said the official on terms of anonymity.